Monday, June 30, 2008

Wanted (2008)

I am very glad I don't work in a cubicle job because according to the movie Wanted, if you're a twenty something office monkey trapped in a dull pathetic existence then your only means of escape is to become an assassin and shoot a lot of people. And not just shoot them, but using some slick Matrix-style curve ball way to shoot in the process.

Loosely based on a comic book series by Mark Millar, Wanted is a story about Wesley Gibson, an apathetic victim of the cubicle monkey lifestyle. Wesley's day consists of going to work where he's constantly berated by his overbearing Nurse Ratchet of a boss, going home to his run down apartment to his girlfriend whom right from the beginning is shown cheating on him with his douchebag best friend and trying to cope with the fact that he's broke and leading a meaningless existence by taking heavy medication. In other words, he's pathetic.

A chance meeting with a woman named Fox aka Angelina Jolie playing her umpteenth bad ass gun wielding femme-fatale, steps in and informs poor Wesley that he's the heir to an ancient tradition known as killing people for hire. Apparently Wesley's father was one of the greatest assassins in the world and was recently murdered and it's up to Wesley to take on the family trade. With almost zero prompting and the minimum seven stages of denial, Wesley goes down the path from pansy to bad ass through a series of obligatory training montages with the various rogues gallery of assassinannys showing him the ropes before he's sent to take down his father's killer.

This could have been a decent summer action movie. This could have been a movie akin to Fight Club or Office Space in that we have a hero that inspired us to escape whatever monotonous lifestyle we might be living in to aspire to some sort of greatness. Unfortunately the movie gets bogged down with some video game-like concepts that would tax the suspension of disbelief of thirteen year olds. People are able to jump and flip cars as if they were playing Grand Theft Auto, bullets are shot like curve balls and able to defy logic and physics; and while cool the first time, a person would get tired of seeing two bullets collide in mid air after the third or fourth time. James McAvoy, who is a very talented actor, does a fine job with what he's given. It's just that the character Wesley isn't that great to begin with. Unlike other people who might be morally conflicted with becoming an Assassin, Wesley jumps into it with enthusiasm simply because it's better than his old lifestyle. There's just very little growth in the character. Morgan Freeman, who plays the head assassin leader, shows amazing acting simply because he's not bursting into laughter when his character delivers some of the most ridiculously hokey lines ever written for a man played by Morgan Freeman. For example, this is the first movie with Morgan Freeman where I've ever heard him drop the f bomb. Angelina Jolie is just playing Angelina Jolie in action movie mode, she holds a gun, she shoots, she pouts, she wears tight outfits, and she leans against things looking all sultry-like, it's not anything new to us. In the end, Wanted is just an action movie for the dumbed down Myspace generation.

Final Verdict:
2 1/4 Gomorrah's; great concept, some awesome action scenes, but ultimately pretty dumb.

The Gomorrah Scale of Awesome

From this point on I will be using a new handy dandy trademarked rating system that I shall refer to as the Gomorrah Scale of Awesomeness (TM). Anything I review will now be rated in terms of Gomorrah-ness. For those who never read the Bible, Gomorrah (along with Sodom) was one of the towns that were destroyed by God for being full of sinful inhabitants who indulged in various pleasures. In other words, they were towns inhabited by people who knew how to have a good time. Hence everything being reviewed here will be gauged by how much enjoyment people can get out of the product.

1 Gomorrah = boring, dull, non enjoyable, the equivalent of living a Puritan lifestyle
2 Gomorrahs = Of dubious use and enjoyment, something that is utter crap except for one or two silver linings.
3 Gomorrahs = Average, kinda useful, kinda fun, fun for a while but then gets boring, like vanilla icecream.
4 Gomorrahs = Good, awesome, positive, watch this, get this, use this, eat this, just experience it in some way.
5 Gomorrahs = So much fun you'd turn into a pillar of salt if you looked back on it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ex, 5 Piece Knife Set

Most of you have probably seen this product in various online stores (ie Thinkgeek, Amazon, Overstock, etc.) and thought "Wow, a voodoo doll that doubles as a knife holder!" I thought the same thing which is why I currently possess one. It's quite an impressive looking addition to the kitchen and more than one person has commented on the thing upon entering our house, however there are some flaws with the thing. For one thing, the entire holder is made of plastic screwed onto a hollow plastic base. While it's big enough that it wont easily get knocked over, it feels flimsy enough that if you were to drop the holder for whatever reason, it would just shatter. My other main issue with the Ex is that the knives that were included in the set were a little dull. Now this isn't a big issue since knives can be sharpened but one would think that if you buy a knife set, the knives are already pre-sharpened. The price, at $70, is a little high too considering it only holds five knives, but of course anyone who buys this is probably looking for form over function. It would have been nice if they could sell this sans knives so those who already have a full knife set could use it. Other than that, it's an attractive thing to possess, and in my house I'm sure we'll have no shortage of pictures to tape onto the head for cathartic purposes. However my recommendation is if you buy the Ex, fill in the hollow base with something to give it more weight and stability and ditch the knives that are included for some nice Cutco knives.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Machine Girl (2008)

This movie is one of the most indescribably craziest films I've seen all year. It was as if a Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino film had a love child with an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers then went to see Iron Man and Rocky before finally produced this Grade A, B Grade, movie. Directed by Noboru Iguchi, The Machine Girl is a hyper-violent, blood soaked, semi-comedic, over the top revenge movie that reminds us that the Japanese know how to make some strange and rather fucked up movies.

The movie follows the life of Ami on a quest for revenge against a ninja-yakuza family. Barely two minutes into the movie and we already see the bodies piling up. Ami was leading a normal teenage life with her little brother when tragedy struck and her brother and his friend are murdered by the school bully. Losing her arm in the process, she sets off to avenge herself against the bully and his ninja yakuza family with the help of the auto mechanic parents of the deceased friend, a chainsaw, and the over the top gatling gun arm they built for her. In true B-grade fashion, limbs are lost, blood sprays in geysers, and people die in inadvertently funny ways and the audience is left howling with glee throughout the movie.

The plot is paper thin, the gore is over the top, and the random japanese silliness is well just silly. The actors throw themselves into their roles but in the end, as an audience, all that is secondary because we're seeing a schoolgirl with a machine gun arm blasting out justice. For those who love B movies, this one is your holy grail.

Everything is Awesome Forever

Welcome to the Awesome Forever Blog. This is the place where I attempt to review and comment on everything I deem awesome in the world. It's my outlet for any creative genius that's hiding up in my noggin and hopefully I can entertain and inform at the same time. Everything here is written in an everyman fashion that's easily understood by everybody, similar to The Self Made Critic from the old Brunching Shuttlecock's website, my direct inspiration. So please, enjoy.